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Google driverless cars know when the police are coming

Articles & Information - Driverless vehicles & related technologies

Google / Waymo driverless cars will know when the police are coming

Which might be handy if you're braking bad


GOOGLE'S FLEET of driverless cars will have a feature that can spot police vehicles in the vicinity and take evasive action.

Driverless cars are slowly making their way towards us, not in a creepy way like slowly rolling towards you while you're lying prone in a car park on the ground, but they are heading at you.

When they come they will have various features. For example, they will be able to drive around without anyone at the wheel and without bashing into each other.

They will give way when they have to, and hopefully let you out at busy junctions when there is nothing coming the other way, for crying out loud.

One feature that might prove handy is the ability to tell whether a police car is nearby. We can see how this might appeal to other police cars and to people who want to know whether the police might be nearby.


The good news is that this is not about drug dealers or people who pull over to fly tip soiled nappies in nature reserves. It is designed to alert a car without a driver that the emergency services are coming up fast and that now might be a good time to pull over.

The Telegraph reported that Google has filed a patent for a technology that allows a driverless car to spot flashing lights and associate it with an emergency. This is a challenge for some humans, so it would be very dandy if a car could manage it.

The patent was first spotted by a site called PatentYogi. It is called 'Real-time active emergency vehicle detection' It is ultimately registered to Google as patent number 20160252905. 

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